Visit Waterford

Walking by the John Wesley Church in Waterford Virginia

Walking by the John Wesley Church

Visiting Second set in Waterford Virginia

Enjoy the Waterford Fair in October

When you stroll the streets of the Waterford National Historic Landmark in Waterford, Virginia, you’ll step back in time. First settled in 1733 by Quakers from Pennsylvania, it is an extraordinary collection of 18th- and 19th-century buildings set within 1,420 acres of rolling farmland located just one hour from Washington, D.C.

The village’s homes, places of business, and the rolling fields that surround them today look much as they did in the 19th century. With its rich heritage in furniture manufacturing, farming, Civil War actions, and African-American life, Waterford is a wonderful place to visit.

Waterford has a rich Civil War history. The village was an island of resistance during the war, when it sided with the Union despite its location in Confederate Virginia. Waterford’s Quaker residents set aside their pacifist beliefs and stood up a cavalry unit to defend their country — the only Union Army unit raised in the state.

Waterford was within the part of Loudoun County known as the Underground Railroad route.  It was also a haven for free blacks. The Village’s African-American schoolhouse, the Second Street School, is used today for educational programs. The John Wesley Community Church, built by its black congregation in the late 1800s, is open for special events.

Waterford is a National Historic Landmark

In 1970, the Secretary of the Interior determined that the Waterford Historic District possessed national significance and designated it a National Historic Landmark. It is the highest designation of historic importance possible in the U.S., and places it on par with Mt. Vernon and Monticello—a rare honor.

Things to Do in Historic Waterford

  • Visit the Waterford Corner Store & Visitor Center.
    Enjoy shopping for locally made handcrafted items year round.
    Hours: Friday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturday: 12 p.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday: 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m.
The Corner Store in Waterford Virginia

Corner Store in 1900.

Visiting the Waterford National Historic Landmark Waterford Virginia

Self-guided village tour

The Waterford Fair - traditional artisan crafts, home tours, music, farming

Enjoy our Fair in October

  • Stroll through the historic village. See a remarkable variety of early dwellings, spring houses, barns, former shops, and 19th century churches. Download our Self-Guided Walking Tour Booklet to enjoy the Landmark’s history.
  • Walk the 1.5 mile Interpretive Trail on the Phillips Farm. The trail details the natural and cultural history on the property, with numbered posts corresponding to points of interest.
  • Peek into the village jail which housed mischief-makers from the early 1800s until 1936.
  • Visit our cemeteries where Waterford’s early Quakers, residents, and soldiers were laid to rest.
  • Send a postcard from Waterford’s post office – the oldest Virginia post office in continuous operation at the same site.
  • Come to the Waterford Fair (held since 1944 on first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October) and return to a day from an earlier time. Tour historic houses, watch juried artisans demonstrate traditional craftsmanship, stroll through the village and find music, crafts, paintings, dried flowers, baked goods and more.

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The Old Mill and the John Wesley Church in Waterford Virginia

The Old Mill and the John Wesley Church